In commemoration of All Saints’ Day yesterday (which is connected in some traditions with All Souls’ Day today), here are five great books about saints — heroes of faith who have gone before us.

* * *

Just for Today

Just for Today

Just for Today
Written by Saint John XXIII
Illustrated by Bimba Landmann

An elegant depiction of an inspirational text

Known fondly as “The Good Pope,” John XXIII was recently canonized as a saint, and his daily Decalogue continues to be a source of inspiration and comfort for people the world over. In this lovely picture book, graceful illustrations connect the text to everyday life, showing how the statements apply to school, family, and friendships.

The pairing of Saint John XXIII’s cherished words and Bimba Landmann’s symbolic artwork instills readers of all ages with a sense of peace while they savor each page. This charming book provides the perfect reminder of how to make the most of every day.

Read Five Questions with Bimba Landmann and create a sundial craft inspired by the book.

The Legend of Saint Nicholas

The Legend of Saint Nicholas
Written by Anselm Grün
Illustrated by Giuliano Ferri

A beautiful retelling of the life of Saint Nicholas

Many stories are told about Saint Nicholas — stories about his generosity and his miracles, stories about the concern he showed for those in poverty. This warm, inviting book tells many of these stories, both familiar and lesser-known. It recounts how he ended a famine by multiplying grain from a merchant ship and how he walked on water to rescue sailors from a terrible storm. And, of course, it tells the story of how Nicholas gave his inheritance to prevent a desperate man from selling his daughters into slavery.

Anselm Grün’s simple, graceful text and Giuliano Ferri’s beautiful paintings combine to provide the perfect way to introduce young readers to the rich life of this beloved saint.

Read more about this book on EerdWord.

Saints: Lives and Illuminations

Saints: Lives and Illuminations
Written and illustrated by Ruth Sanderson

Saints: Lives and Illuminations tells the stories of over seventy remarkable men and women who have provided spiritual examples to Christians from the very beginning of the church up to the present day. In addition to well-known saints like Patrick and Francis of Assisi, this volume also explores the lives of such lesser-known figures as Saint Kateri Tekakwitha and Saint Bernardino.

With biographical sketches and beautiful, detailed portraits, author-illustrator Ruth Sanderson appeals to our persistent fascination with these saints who have lived out their faith in profound and dramatic ways.

All of the saints featured in Sanderson’s two earlier works, Saints and More Saints, are brought together in this lovely small-format edition that makes a perfect gift for readers of all ages.

The Legend of Saint Christopher

The Legend of Saint Christopher
Written by Richard Jesse Watson
Illustrated by Margaret Hodges

“Will you carry me safely over the water?” asked the child.
“I will carry you,” Offero answered.
Then he lifted the child onto his shoulders.
He took his staff in his hand and stepped down into the river.

Offero wants to find the greatest ruler in the world in order to serve him, and his search takes him from a king to the devil to a hermit who he hopes will help him. When a mysterious child asks Offero to carry him over the icy river, he obliges — and only afterward does he discover the child’s true identity. Then Offero’s name is changed to Christopher.

Author Margaret Hodges retells with power and simplicity this unforgettable tale of the man who became known as the patron saint of travelers. And illustrator Richard Jesse Watson has created dramatic paintings that perfectly capture Offero’s journey and his discovery of the One he sought.

Brigid’s Cloak

Brigid’s Cloak
Written by Bryce Milligan
Illustrated by Helen Cann

The wind groaned and swirled that night and likely it seemed to tear the thatch from the roof. But when the baby gave her first cry, the wind shushed to a whisper and the stars began to sing.

Brigid’s Cloak retells an ancient tale about one of Ireland’s most beloved saints. On the day she is born Brigid receives a brilliant blue cloak from a mysterious Druid. Years later, the young girl still wears the now tattered but beloved cloak while she tends her sheep. Is it her imagination that suddenly takes her to an unfamiliar land? Or is it something far greater that leads Brigid to a crowded inn in a town called Bethlehem?

Bryce Milligan’s eloquently told story about Brigid is a moving tale of compassion and wonder. Beautifully illustrated by Helen Cann, Brigid’s Cloak sparkles with the timelessness of legend and the transcending power of faith.